Beginning with the new SpeedRFP, its latest features provide EMI’s 115,000+ members with real-time hotel status, recommendations, and product comparisons on a single dashboard.
Participating hotel groups include MGM Resorts International, Noble House Hotels, Sonesta Collection, Corinthia Hotels, Caesars Entertainment and more. The SpeedRFP Network has a database of more than 11,000 hotels, and so far in 2014, over 50,000 unique event RFPs have been submitted, and each unique event RFP includes an average of less than two hotels each.
EMI CEO Kelly Foy says, “As with all of our products, we listened to what the buyers said they needed…. We believe this to be the most sophisticated eRFP manager in the industry, but also extremely intuitive and easy to use.”
Key features for planners include:
- Real-time status of eRFPs
- At-a-glance rate comparisons
- Easy eRFP cloning to avoid rekeying
- Ability to access, view and edit all eRFPs from one page
- Interactive charts that show which hotels have viewed the eRFP, and their subsequent actions
- Smart suggestions for additional venues, tailored to each event’s need for location, space, rooms, etc.
- Scroll-over functionality that alleviates the need to click
EMI also announced the launch of AttendeeHub, a web platform for scheduling appointments, managing agendas and promoting engagement at meetings and events. AttendeeHub began with the concept of a comprehensive appointment scheduler and grew from there.
“We learned a great deal from our very successful FaceTime Appointment Scheduler, and used that as the launching point for this new software,” says Foy. “But we built AttendeeHub to be so much more. We incorporated the expressed wishes of meeting professionals, who needed tools that would help them excel in the profession’s increasingly demanding landscape and deliver ROI and added value to their participants.”
AttendeeHub allows users to schedule appointments with each other manually via the system’s search engine. Near-term enhancements to the scheduling system will allow attendees to have their schedule pre-populated using the system’s “smart technology,” which scans profiles to find the most relevant matches among attendees.
With the industry trending heavily toward appointment-based events, Foy says, “Even those meetings and events that don’t currently offer appointments will almost certainly do so in the future—because the ROI is so much greater when people meet face-to-face.”
Key Features For Event Managers:
- Event managers can add, edit, remove and replace attendees
- Allow attendee-to-attendee, buyer-to-supplier and group appointment scheduling
- View attendee agendas
- Track breakout and education sessions by allowing attendees to RSVP
- Promote engagement either within the app itself or on public social forums like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Integrate with AttendeeHub’s mobile event app and registration partners
- In the months ahead, event managers will also have the ability to conduct audience surveys and gather valuable feedback
Key Features for Attendees:
- Customize profiles with company taglines, fun facts, photos, videos, documents and files to share
- View attendee information to identify best prospects
- Cross-reference mutually available time slots
- Receive and respond to appointment requests and alerts
- Interact with other attendees within the app or in the outside social media world
- Print or download scheduled appointments to calendars
AttendeeHub was initially unveiled at IBTM America in Orlando this summer, following final testing at EMI’s Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA) event in April. Participants at EMA used the product to schedule face-to-face meetings, block out educational sessions, and communicate with other EMA participants before, during and after the event.
Cristina Sufrim, CMP, a planner with Ingram Micro, used AttendeeHub to book her EMA appointments. She says she especially liked “its flexibility and easiness to check my agenda, send appointment requests and respond to appointment requests.”